Looking for best way to level airplane.

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Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2011
Part of it was that laser line at the distance was not very sharp.
On my laser I have a detector unit that beeps when on the centre of the beam. At 300 ft it is still accurate even though the beam has spread to an inch dot.
For a water level I have an electronic one that beeps when the water touches the mark on the fixed end similar to this.


Sep 29, 2020
Typically within 1/16in, @ what distance?
A home built airplane constructed within a 1/16in tolerance, would fly as the designer intended.
The ol’ XYZ thing, I think is a challenge to some builders.
I am glad the OP started this post, I have learned a massive amount of information about all kinds of topics!

Gregory Perkins

Well-Known Member
May 25, 2019
Once again, pay attention to this fine detail. (as described previously) After you have filled the tube with water and coiled in the bucket and placed the bucket on a stool or floor or step ladder as necessary, after pulling out a bunch of tube and laying it on the floor which will let you go anywhere you want, you tape the free end of the tube to a yard stick ( or standard of any length you wish ) yard sticks work well because of the marks and measurements. you use the yard stick now to measure all
the points of elevation you are interested in. For pencil mark precision, always place the level of water in the tube at the 0 (zero mark on the yardstick) which is always the same as the water level in the bucket. So now you go around and record the elevations as needed as a reference to 0 on the yardstick. ie leading edge at right tip 21.5" ie trailing edge at right tip 17.75"
For a long time I used a 1x3 or 1x4 six feet or more ( as needed ) long lumber that had a broken metal measuring tape screwed and taped to the 1x3.
Yes it is true that if you pull out a lot of tube for long distances, or let the bucket sit for a week
etc. you will have to re-calibrate the level of water in the bucket...... only if your reference is
the bucket. OR you can always "calibrate" any fixed object to use as reference. Like the top of
your electric panel or the floor in the corner or a window sill etc. Like I said before you have
to know what the water is telling you and it will never lie.
PS. you will figure out that it is best to attach the empty tube to the full length of the standard/ yardstick so you should be able to prevent the water from running out of the end of the tube.
( ie if you are using a yardstick, put the end of the tube at the 36" mark. )